Official Intrusions

MarkJohnson12345

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I read that Lady Ayesha was boarded and searched in Milford Haven by uniformed anti-terrorist squad.

I have thought how easy it would be to smuggle stuff into the UK via our yacht, as we have never been challenged when incoming from France, Scillies etc.

I assume these guys use some sort of intelligence information to pick their boats to search?

All in all, they do a necessery job and I would rather they searched me than allow nasty buggers to enter UK or smuggle stuff in.

But it does wrankle a bit to be searched questioned etc.

Anyone else been searched??
 

EdWingfield

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Was boarded in Spain once. They carried out a thorough search.

Ferry travellers are 'profiled'. If you fit the profile you'll be searched by Customs.

When I return from Holland this summer I will not be surprised for the boat to be searched. I'll have no objection.
 

KenMcCulloch

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We were boarded once in the North Channel on passage from Bangor to Largs. This was back in the early 90s before the Provisional IRA had ceased armed action. Three very polite young men jumped on the boat from a RIB, asked for various information and had a look through the boat. They didn't find anything but didn't look in the cockpit locker.....

It's the only time I've had a loaded firearm pointed in my direction. Not exactly scary but certainly a thought provoking experience.
 

TonyBri

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Holand was the only place I've been searched - on the way in. A line of guys in black police outfits with machine guns firmly waved us to the quayside and searched the boat. All very courteous and just a brief look under bunks and in lockers. 5 mintes looking at paperwork and passports - only took 10 mins in total. But somewhat intimidating for all that
 

explores

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been boarded by the coastguard many times and have only been on a days sail from falmouth,but it has seemed to have stopped recently
 
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Were boarded several years ago - Easter Sunday morning, as it happens - while passing west off Milford Haven, in a very light sailing breeze and near-flat sea. A black RIB with two in black drysuits came charging towards us and made to board. There were NO identifying marks, on hull or elsewhere, so we 3 desperados demanded identification. "Police", they said. "Warrant cards!" said we.....

Flurry of lifejackets and drysuit zips being unfastened, and eventually a warrant card was produced. "Fine. What can we do for you..."

So the sergeant came aboard, queried who we were, where we were going ( Oban via Cork, or Cork via Oban ), why, etc. We had to fill out some little green cards, there was a radio/computer check of some sort, then the real reason for stopping us emerged.....

"I don't suppose you guys would care for a mug of tea? And I think we may have some biscuits somewhere....."

After that, I had a ride on the RIB with the youngster, taking photos of our boat, while the sarge scoffed more of the biscuits. Fairy Nuff!

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I rather think it may be helpful to us all if a serving officer made it clear what can and cannot legally be done now, in terms of Rights of Stop and Search. And what is expected of us......

/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

johnalison

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Smuggling is not a brilliant idea; if you're found out they can take your boat. Anyway, have you ever tried lying to someone in front of your children?
 
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[ QUOTE ]
I have thought how easy it would be to smuggle stuff into the UK via our yacht

[/ QUOTE ]

A lot have thot that, and regretted it. It's amateurs - who don't even know the rules of the game - pitting themselves against well-funded, trained professionals. One helll of a gamble, IMHO, having witnessed a couple of drugs busts from a safe distance.


/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
 

MarkJohnson12345

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Totally agree.

Even stopped bringing loads of French wine in as I can buy what I want in our local shops at reasonable prices.

Anything else I have, fortunately, no interest in.

But the point that am making is that there are no checks in Swansea when I return. For which I am grateful, and I don't intend to test the authorities.

We did have a talk at the SYSAC from a customs man, I believe their checks are intelligence based, rather than random checks which may well antagonise most of us.

I have stored the Coast guard telephone number on which they ask you to report suspicious circumstances. As a law abiding tax payer, I would do that.

0800 595 000 is the number if anyone is interested.

It would be a bad day when Yachties and Raggies were consiered to be security risks, and we have to continue to prove our reliability and honesty.

Mj
 

bluedragon

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Mark, last year we spent quite a few weeks in Milford Haven. The Police board yachts most days, and especially on the visitors pontoon at Dale. Questioned where we'd come from (Cardiff) then moved on to the other yachts. It was all very polite. Aparently they do stop yachts coming in through the islands when out at sea, and they cover a sea area down to the Gower. I spent quite some time chatting with them on a number of occasions. Their role seems to be combined anti-terrorism, people smuggling and the like. Bearing in mind the strategic importance of Milford Haven as an oil and gas port, I'm not surprised they are there. There might be some intelligence lead boardings, but I sensed it was more random (and regular) than this. They also want to use boating people as the eyes and ears around the area, and report anything unusual I was told.

We also got a visit from HM Customs one foggy evening anchored off Dale. A black RIB crept alongside...they peered at me...I peered at them...they waved and went off to have a look at everyone else in the anchorage.

In short, if you spend any time in Milford Haven expect at least one visit from one or the other. We had three all together.
 

BrendanS

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You see the coastguard boats quite often heading out of Solent on patrols. Some of them big vessels. There was a documentary on TV about them a few years ago. One of their vessels has a 'dock' for their rib in the stern, which they let the rib off, and then drive back onto when returning.

They didn't go into huge detail for obvious reasons, but seems to be a mix of intelligence, and gut instinct. With boats being watched by a variety of means including radar.

They had the rib on beaches searching pebbles/gravel in or near caves on the coast, as that is the sort of place people beach things. Though I'm sure a lot more will simply drop overboard at a set location with a buoy now that GPS is so good at locating things.
 

bluedragon

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The HM Customs RIB in Dale came from a big boat. I thought it was a minesweeper or RNR vessel at first. They anchored close by all night, then disappeared at dawn. I've seen the Irish equivalent "hiding" just inside Kinsale entrance. When the police came the first time my wife thought they were calling to collect the visitors pontoon charges and had her purse ready (!!)...then we moaned about being buzzed by the MoD range patrol boat the previous day...they probably thought we were too stupid to be terrorists and sought out more likely targets /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Actually I'm glad to see them around. Just be polite, have your documents to hand and all is fine.
 
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